Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Weimar Germany, see the Turks topple the walls of Constantinople or witness one of the gargantuan Chinese wars?
The old Chinese saying is, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ Their history tends to oscillate between centuries of not much happening and decades so terrible that the population plummets by millions. The boring times are better.
But you have to admit, interesting times are interesting.
The clownish decline of the West, so hilarious back in 2014, is now disturbingly real. But still clownish.
You can’t complain that there’s nothing in the news. The official news, of course, is full of rubbish but even those lies are funny in their own way. As to actual events, they are insane.
You could have lived in a sleepy Mesopotamian century where nothing changed at all, or in an Amazonian village cut off from the world, or in a dusty outback town where the most exciting thing that ever happened was the arrival of the first motor car.
Instead you live here, now.
Future generations (if we have any) will look back upon these times and think, ‘What would that have been like?’ They’ll do VR sims to try to get a sense of it. There will be historic novels and period films set against the dramatic backdrop of The Fall. Comedies, perhaps.
But here we are, right in the thick of it, like the Weimar Germans or the terrified Byzantines seeing the largest cannon in history dragged towards their walls.
We’re living in a real, sci-fi dystopia.
We’re not just watching it on newsreels; it’s now come for us all. We are variously trapped, unemployed, beset, intimidated. It’s not over there in Vietnam or a faraway capital anymore. The nonsense and decay reaches into our very homes. Getting offline no longer makes it disappear.
If we had a choice, most of us would prefer to live in boring times. However, we don’t have that choice. We might as well appreciate the one good thing about the decline: it is amusing.
Might as well put on a happy face and laugh as it all comes falling down, while preserving what we can. It’s ridiculous. Unnecessary. Materially, we are prosperous. Militarily, we are not under serious external threat.
All that’s wrong is that we’ve gone mad.
Historians will long ponder at this as perhaps the strangest collapse of any civilization. Observe. Record. Appreciate your front-row seat.. As someone on Gab said, don’t let them blame it on lead pipes or some other nonsense this time around.
It’s like the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It’s the greatest show on Earth. And we get to see it!
Hold on to your potatoes.